SOUTH Australian trainer Paula Hearnden will have two chances of qualifying for the group 1 Nationals series when she heads to Angle Park tonight.
Hearnden has Here Comes Henry engaged in the SA Distance Championship final and Marlow Brown in the SA Sprint Championship final, with the first two from each race set to qualify for the respective group 1 features, held at Angle Park next Saturday night.
The first feature to jump will be the Distance decider, run over a testing 731-metres. Here Comes Henry (box two), a son of Token Prince and Boganesque, comes into the race following a second placing behind Springvale Bryne in his heat and before that had been placed in four of his six prior starts.
A winner of 17 of his 95 starts overall, Hearnden says he will need luck at $16 with Bet365, but is hopeful that he can run up to some of his decent Gawler form.
“He has been a very consistent dog for a long time…and on top of that he is a beautiful dog and very easy to look after,” Hearnden told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He has struggled a bit coming up against some decent dogs recently including Luna Jinx and Springvale Bryne, but he has been showing some nice form at Gawler so hopefully he can get a place in the [National] final.
“It would be nice to see him go through the bend up in the pack because he is a true stayer – he is very strong at the end.
“In the staying races anything can happen, but we are just very excited about him being in there.”
Hearnden’s biggest chance of making a group 1 final next week will jump in race eight, with Marlow Brown taking on a classy field which includes the likes of Fabregal (box one) and Worm Burner (box seven).
The son of Lochinvar Marlow and Liza Brown will jump from box eight in the final following on from his 29.88 success over Fabregal in last Thursday’s heat.
While Hearnden says she would have preferred him boxed closer to the fence, she still rates him a big chance with a clean getaway.
“A lot of people think he is best suited out wide, but he actually prefers the rail it’s just that he is pretty smart and he can handle himself out there – he doesn’t crash to the fence,” she said.
“I would have loved box one, but he has been coming from the outside a fair bit lately so I am just hoping he can jump because if he does then he is going to be right in it.
“I believe if he gets a clear run he can match it with most dogs in the state, so hopefully that happens and we can see what he is capable of.
“Fabregal and Worm Burner are probably two of the best dogs in the state – they are very consistent and they will be hard to beat – but if he is within a length or two of the leader they will find it hard to hold him out.
“I don’t know if he is strong enough to hold Worm Burner out if he gets right behind him, but we’ll see.”
Hearnden says it is a big thrill to have made both of the finals and explained that it would be a massive honour to represent her state in either final next week.
“Some of the dogs that are coming over, it’s just going to be awesome to watch them run.
“It would be great if one of mine could make it through – it would be very special for the owners and myself.
“But, have got to have luck in these types of races…so no matter what we are very proud of them.”
The National Distance Championship is race six on the card and will jump at 9:04pm, while the Sprint final is race eight and is set to go at 9:46pm.
SA Sprint Championship – market
Box 1 – Fabregal – $2.75
Box 2 – Coorong Kid – $11
Box 3 – Ryhnstone Jetta – $34
Box 4 – Backpacker – $18
Box 5 – Wave To Kirra – $51
Box 6 – Temalor – $21
Box 7 – Worm Burner – $1.80
Box 8 – Marlow Brown – $7.50 with Bet365